Shawn Kemp Remembers Getting Worked By Larry Bird Over A High School Grudge

Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

It seems like just yesterday Jalen Rose was telling us why Larry Bird is one of the most disrespected legends of all-time, pinning him as a top 10 player ever. If this claim is jarring to you, your brain is rejecting the notion of a guy who looks like he hunts squirrels for a living succeeding in the world of sport.

That is reasonable. But that is wrong.

  • 3 NBA titles
  • 2 Finals MVPs
  • 3 consecutive league MVPs
  • 9x All-NBA First Team
  • 12x All-Star
  • Scored a 47-point triple double in a playoff game using primarily his left hand.

Fellow Indiana native Shawn Kemp joined the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles and revealed the very first player to bust his ass upon entering the league was none other than the Hick from French Lick.

:57 second mark

“I’m from Indiana and Larry’s from Indiana. I knew about the history of Larry but I didn’t realize how he really got down,” Kemp said. “Larry gave me 50 in three quarters. And he talked to me the whole entire game. He asked me at the jump ball, ‘You’re the one that broke all my records in high school right?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ And he said, ‘And you’re the one that used to dunk on my brother too right, Andy?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s me,’ and he said, ‘I’ve got something for you tonight.'”

Larry dropped 40 and had a triple double. It’s a shame he will never get the proper respect due to one key feature…

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.